Mark was confused: his wife was demanding their co-op apartment in the divorce, and he felt – deep in his heart – that she should have it. His friends and coworkers were telling him it was a bad deal to trade-off paying her “alimony” and give her the apartment. And so was I. When Mark came in for our next appointment, I showed him my number one secret weapon in divorce – and his new best friend: a calculator.
“When you break down the tax benefits to paying ‘alimony’ and look closely at avoiding capital gains in a sale of the home, you are losing,” I told Mark. And so did the calculator.
My piece on primary male bread winners and divorce guilt has been taken up by The Huffington Post. Let’s have a discussion about the ramifications of divorce guilt in the comments here or on the HuffPo.
Andy was desperate: he owed more than half a million dollars in back child support and alimony and his ex-wife was seeking enforcement, including a violation for failure to pay, which would land him in jail for up to six months. They had been divorced for about 10 years and at the time, he agreed to pay through the nose.
“I felt bad,” he explained. “I was the one leaving the marriage, and at the time I was doing really well at work.” His guilt and a rushed desire to settle landed him with high payments and no assets (he gave her the house too). His payments became untenable when the economy soured and his job was cut.